Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly at Government Buildings Dublin, earlier this week. Photograph:  Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Opinion: ‘Even if Alan Kelly’s package does defuse the controversy about water it will not and cannot assuage the wider mood of a(...)

Brian Farrell chairing the 1982 televised debate on RTÉ between the then taoiseach Dr Garret FitzGerald (right) and the opposition leader Charles Haughey. Photograph: Paddy Whelan / THE IRISH TIMES

Opinion: ‘He had a deep sense of the democratic authority held by the people and assumed the role of being their voice in studio’ (...)

“It is interesting that the Fine Gael backbencher Eoghan Murphy (above) in his article on political reform here on Wednesday included an express call for the disbandment of the EMC and suggested its operation might be unconstitutional. He has a point.” Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Opinion: ‘The EMC has enhanced the role of unelected officials and advisers at the expense of those elected to govern’

‘The fact that the Government no longer has a majority in the Seanad raises the possibility that Senator Feargal Quinn’s legislation will get some traction.’ Photograph: Alan Betson, Irish Times

Opinion: Senator Feargal Quinn aims to reverse Irish Water’s new power

‘Fergus O’Dowd  said Irish Water would establish “local contact points”, would make an annual report to the Oireachtas . . . He has been demoted and has recently emerged as one of Irish Water’s most trenchant critics.’  Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Opinion: Deputies warned Government of ‘deeply flawed’ water Bill

‘Micheál Martin  (above) would be gone as leader if there were any obvious successor who could guarantee improving fortunes. There is no such person in the current parliamentary party.’  Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Opinion: ‘In the newly arrived era of recovery politics Fianna Fáil is finding it difficult to decide which way to turn’

 ‘Ireland managed to exit the Troika bailout relatively early because government fiscal policy was operating to a strict four-year economic plan. Now 10 months later the Government is about to launch its first post bailout budget without any detailed overall economic road map.’ Above, Brendan Howlin, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform with Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance at the announcement of the bailout exit. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Opinion: ‘The Government is about to launch its first post bailout budget without any detailed overall economic road map’

‘Enda Kenny’s newly apologetic stance is convoluted. He sounds like a penitent rattling off the “Bless me father for I have sinned . . .” mantra but then refusing to say what sins he seeks absolution for while simultaneously blaming some lads he was with for leading him astray.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Opinion: Taoiseach’s avoidance of media debate on McNulty affair is part of a pattern

‘On his own motion or having being persuaded by some apparatchik, Enda Kenny ignored the all-female shortlist and instead decided to bestow the Seanad seat on John McNulty.’

Opinion: ‘This walks, talks and looks like a stroke. It was stroke. Fine Gael should have the decency to stop digging’

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